Before search engines and social media, marketers had a difficult time measuring the performance of their campaigns. Tracking traditional advertising such as television, radio, or paper, wasn’t providing insights into how long the average person was engaged with your ad or if the ad itself was driving sales. But digital marketing changed the landscape. If digital marketing is part of your strategy to grow your business and sell insurance, you are investing time and effort in engaging with prospects and current groups online. While only 21% of businesses are using analytics to measure marketing ROI, making decisions based on gut feeling or intuition is not enough anymore. In this week’s post, we explain marketing analytics for insurance agencies to help you measure your results today, evaluate your performance, and choose your strategy for tomorrow.
Marketing analytics are based on data. In this context, data is digital information in the form of text, images, audio, video, and web activity records, that has been translated into a binary digital form and stored. Data is generated and collected every day about almost everything.
With this in mind, we can define marketing analytics as the collection of practices to measure, manage, and analyze your marketing performance. Using marketing analytics, you will be able to access your data, discover and interpret significant patterns, and generate insights to inform your decision making process.
A common misunderstanding when thinking about analytics is its use as a synonym of metrics. Analytics and metrics are related: you can’t have analytics without metrics and metrics without analytics don’t have a meaning. But they are not the same. While metrics are a number, analytics involve analysis and decisions. To clarify, below we explain the different components of marketing analytics for insurance agencies.
Source refers to where the traffic originates. It answers to who is generating the traffic to your website. For example, it can be a search engine such as Google, or it could be Twitter, email, or LinkedIn.
Segments act as replacements or filters for the sources. They are information related to the audience’s characteristics. For example, you could filter by location and only get results within the United States, or you could filter by device and compare your mobile and desktop results.
The value component answers the question how much. It is the result in the form of a number.
Metrics are the element you are tracking answering the question of what unit are you using to measure. For example, conversion rate, views, or clicks.
Analytics are always understood in a period of time. Range answers the question of when. You can measure analytics weekly, monthly, or you can set the range to look at all time.
Nowadays, consumers have the ability to research every piece of information that comes their way. They have more power than ever and, as a result, marketing has grown into almost every stage of the customer journey, contributing to personalization and empowerment.
As the investment towards marketing increases to cover every stage of the customer journey, the need to determine if your efforts are working becomes more important. If your marketing initiatives are costing you more than they are returning, your strategy won’t succeed in the long-term. Marketing analytics for insurance agencies are key to identify what is working and what is not. Hence, they are fundamental in establishing ways to improve and boost your effectiveness. Analytics allow you to measure the activities you are running from the top-of-the-funnel, such as SEO, social media, or blogging, to middle-of-the-funnel, such as lead nurturing, driving customer engagement, optimization, and cost savings.
Marketing analytics for insurance agencies are also important to gather information about your audience to make informed decisions based on their behavior and demographics. By doing so, you will be able to target both your prospects and current groups more effectively.
When thinking about marketing analytics for insurance agencies, keep in mind they are not the same as web analytics, even though both are important and essential to track. Web analytics are mostly related to the technical performance of your website, for example, page load times or time on site. But today marketing activities go beyond your website. What about all the channels you are running marketing campaigns in, such as email, social media, or your blog? Marketing analytics are people-centric, so customers, prospects, and/or leads are the focus.
There are so many metrics you can track and reports you can create, it can be hard to make sense of all of it. Marketing analytics can feel overwhelming, but it is important to make your analytics actionable since their real value resides in what you can do with them. Data by itself is meaningless. After you put all the work and effort of collecting insights, it is time to adjust, improve, and modify your marketing.
The ways to measure marketing performance vary from each company to each campaign. You won’t find one technique that works in all circumstances. But below we share a basic structure you could follow to build your own analytics for each marketing initiative you start.
Set Objectives And Goals
What do you want to accomplish with your marketing activities? How are you going to accomplish it? Marketing initiatives start with clear and actionable objectives and goals. For example, you could set a marketing program to improve your homepage conversion rate, which would be your objective, by increasing traffic, your goal.
When thinking about the objectives and goals of your marketing programs, you need to answer questions such as what is its long-term value for your agency or what results will it produce. If you establish your objectives and goals before starting any marketing activity, it will be easier to track its performance later, since you will know exactly what it is you are looking for.
Track Your Efforts
What data do you have access to and how can you track it? Trace a plan to measure the success of every marketing program you are running. Depending on the marketing program you are looking into and its objectives and goals, the plan to measure its success will be different.
Let’s continue with the example we set up before. To increase traffic and, therefore, improve the conversion in your homepage, you create a series of blog posts that link back to your homepage and you optimize your homepage changing the content, its structure, and the call to action. In this case, to determine the success of your marketing efforts you could pay attention to two aspects: first, you can track the traffic source to your homepage in Google Analytics to see if the blog posts you created are the ones driving the highest traffic. Second, you can check the source of your leads to see if they are coming from your homepage through marketing automation software or CRM such as Salesforce.
Look At The Big Picture
Once you have collected your data, what does it tell you? Marketing analytics initiatives don’t end with data gathering. For example, 60 leads came from your homepage after running your marketing campaign. Are those enough leads? Did you get more in return than what you invested? Diving into marketing analytics will inform which marketing activities are giving you the largest ROI. To make it simple, your marketing activities should increase your conversions and sales. You should be able to answer how many leads your marketing programs attract and how many of those leads became customers.
Implementing marketing analytics for insurance agencies can help you create an overview of all your marketing channels beyond your website, allowing you to compare results and establish which ones are more effective in helping you achieve your goals. Analytics will give you insights about each of your channels, such as email, blogging, social media, SEO, or paid online advertising.
Looking at the bigger picture, you might find opportunities you could be missing out on. For example, if your blog is performing worse than your email campaigns, focus your efforts in writing high-quality posts that will attract visitors. If you are getting a lot of leads from social media, but your conversion rate is low, use marketing analytics to identify why.
Let’s say you are running an email campaign to inform your groups about a new HRIS system to track time off and PTO requests. Your objective is to get current groups and prospects to click a link in the emails that will take them to a landing page where this new feature is explained. After they arrive to the landing page, you want them to click the call to action on it.
To know if this campaign is successful, you need to track two things. First, is the highest traffic source for the landing page your email campaign? Second, what is the conversion rate of your landing page? In other words, how many visitors are clicking on your call to action. Gathering this data, you will be able to determine if your email campaign is working.
But you can go further. Are you sending the same emails to groups with different characteristics? One of the most important things in email campaigns is personalization. Nobody wants to get an email that has been sent to an indefinite number of people. We like to be addressed directly. Marketing analytics for insurance agencies allow you to segment your email communication. There are a number of characteristics you could pick to segment your audience such as geography, interests, or point in the marketing funnel. In our example, you could segment your email campaign by the industry your groups are on or by the number of employees.
Are you sending your emails too often? Are you emailing your customers and prospects enough? Marketing analytics also allow you to determine your email’s frequency. You can start tracking your emails and testing. Do you think increasing the frequency of your emails will increase conversion? Do you think increasing the frequency will result in fewer unsubscribes? You can test your hypothesis with one of your segments. Use marketing analytics for insurance agencies to compare if the results from that sample are better than the others and adjust accordingly.
Digital marketing is an investment of time and money. Hence, it is key to effectively measure your agency’s performance. Marketing analytics will be available for you by acquiring a third-party tool such as Google Analytics, Hubspot, Hootsuite, SEMrush, Marketo, and others. Pick the tool depending on the metrics you are looking for and better accommodates your needs. Some of them are free, some offer a free version, and some are only available if you subscribe.
Regardless of the tool, implementing analytics into your overall marketing strategy will play a crucial role in your decision-making process. You will be able to identify problems and constantly re-evaluate your strategy to ensure your efforts. Marketing analytics for insurance agencies will help you be competitive, adapt to the market, and stay in the game.
If analytics are still a step too far and you need more information about digital marketing and how to implement it in your insurance agency, we put together The Agency Marketing Guide to help you boost your knowledge.
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